A full slate of nine candidates filled the front of the Sandspit community hall, vying for five committee positions and three alternates on the Moresby Island Management Committee, at the MIMC all candidates meeting Tuesday (Nov. 8).
All five committee members and the alternates are running again, with two newcomers, Bill Sheridan and Carole Wagner. Current regional district representative Duane Gould is also in the race.
The MIMC debate was the third in a series of candidate debates on November 8. Where there had been 60 people in the room for the school trustee and regional district representative debates, now there were only 30.
The debate swung from MIMC to the workings of a sub-committee, the Moresby Island Stability Initiative with the first question.
Kerri Haybittle said she was witness to the tactics regarding issues over residency and citizenship brought up by candidates Gord Usher and Carole Wagner at a MISI meeting and she wanted to know how they would mend bridges.
“Why should I vote for you?” she said.
Ms Wagner said the issue regarding non-Canadian citizens on the sub-committee had become a large obstacle. Her belief that only those eligible to vote be able to serve on a committee hasn’t changed, she said.
For his part, Mr. Usher publicly apologized for comments made at the May MISI meeting.
Discussion ensued about how people who may or may not be landowners, but not eligible to vote will be served by candidates.
“If anyone has energy to put forward, they should be encouraged to do it,” said Warren Foster. He said MISI was only making recommendations to MIMC and was not in a position to make decisions.
Ms Wagner said the rules of MIMC, under the municipal act, state that committee members must be Canadian citizens.
“It became a personal issue for some, unfortunately,” she said.
Travis Glasman tried to swing the debate away from MISI. He noted there were a lot of empty chairs in the room all of a sudden. ” A lot of people don’t think MIMC is important to them.” He asked candidates how they would get more people involved.
Carol Bowler suggested a community newsletter would keep people informed and help educate young people on the workings of local government.
Bill Sheridan said he sees the community as a family. If he is elected, he told people to come talk to him in the coffee shop or wherever about issues and he will bring them to the meetings.
Bill Quaas said in such a small community, there is no choice about who works on things. “Anyone is desperately needed,” he said.
Ms Wagner committed to personally posting the minutes of meetings at the post office for all to read.
Ms Henry said having the new office beside SuperValu makes the committee more visible. They are also putting up a bulletin board.
Mr. Usher said a motion had been passed to send minutes to other municipal governments. “Have they been sent?” he said.
Finally Pat Carrie Smith asked candidates how they feel about privacy issues. The answers ranged from Mr. Sheridan quoting Pierre Trudeau about the government not belonging in the bedrooms of the nation, to Ms Bowler saying she believes privacy is about respect.
In closing Sherry Price said Sandspit needs someone to listen and to encourage young people to be leaders.
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